These discoveries reveal interesting things about local histories.
These discoveries reveal interesting things about local histories. Image: Alan Levine Flickr CC0

Back-garden archaeology in the British lockdown

Due to the restrictions imposed on people during the British lockdown, people have had a lot more time to tend to their gardens. This had led to many archaeological discoveries, here are some of the most interesting finds!

The British Museum’s portable antiquities scheme has been notified of a number of archaeological discoveries from people gardening. While they may not be valuable treasures, they often say something “very interesting about the local history”, he said. People find things all the time and think of using it somehow. But now with the British lockdown, they actually are getting in touch with the authorities to enquire about the importance of their find.

Among these treasures is a post-medieval belt hook in the shape of a snake found in Herefordshire, and a medieval silver coin discovered beneath a lawn in Stoke-on-Trent. In Coventry, a rock with script thought to date from the fourth century was found. Meanwhile, eight fragments of Roman grey-ware pottery were found in the Leicestershire village of Wymeswold.

Michael Lewis, head of portable antiquities and treasure at the British Museum, urged gardeners not to be embarrassed about checking the significance of their discovery. “During the period of total lockdown, a number of garden finds have come to light as people have been digging their gardens whilst off work or unable to go out as much as usual,” he said. “Finders can be shy about showing finds liaison officers their garden finds, but we are keen to see what is discovered by the public. Often people don’t realise the archaeological significance of what they find.” Most finders get to keep their discoveries.

Finders can notify the museum at Sourced from The Guardian.

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